AstraZeneca Announces ‘Highly Effective’ COVID-19 Vaccine

AstraZeneca said early Monday that clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in Britain and Brazil have shown it is “highly effective in preventing COVID-19″ without  “hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease” in any of the trial’s volunteers. The England-based pharmaceutical company tested two dosing regimens.  One regimen had an efficacy rate of 90%.  The second regimen has an average efficacy of 70%.  “More data will continue to accumulate, and additional analysis will be conducted, refining the efficacy reading and establishing the duration of protection,” Astra Zeneca said in a statement Monday.  “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.” Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said in a statement. AstraZeneca said it “will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.”An AstraZeneca sign is seen at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, Nov. 6, 2020.Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have also announced initial results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were nearly 95% effective. On Sunday, countries begin laying out plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, with Germany and the United States preparing to vaccinate some populations as early as next month. German Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters Sunday that there “is reason to be optimistic” that a vaccine would be approved in Europe before the end of the year, and that after approval, vaccinations could begin “right away.” The United States has set preliminary plans to begin vaccinating some groups as early as December 12, two days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review the Pfizer vaccine. In the U.S., health care workers, who have been hard-hit by COVID-19, would be among the first to receive a vaccine.  The United States has set preliminary plans to begin vaccinating some groups as early as December 12, two days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review the Pfizer vaccine. At the G-20 summit this weekend, 20 of the world’s richest nations’ leaders vowed to work together to ensure that vaccines against COVID-19 will be made available to the most poor and vulnerable populations.FILE – People wait at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Nov. 20, 2020.The Associated Press reports that China has imposed new lockdowns on three cities — Shanghai, Tianjin, Manzhouli — where a handful of COVID-19 cases have reemerged.   California Governor Gavin Newsom and his family are in quarantine after three of his children were exposed to a Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for COVID-19. More than 58 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus, the Johns Hopkins Resource Center reported early Monday.  FILE – Nurses watch as medical workers try to resuscitate a COVID-19 patient in the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, California, Nov. 19, 2020.The U.S. continues to lead the world in infections with more than 12 million cases, followed by India with 9 million infections and Brazil with 6 million. The virus has claimed more than 1.3 million lives.  More than a quarter million of those deaths were in the U.S.   


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